The Nelson Giants are on the hunt for a new coach after Tim Fanning's departure to Israel side Maccabi Tel Aviv. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport

Nelson Giants on hunt for new coach

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The Mike Pero Nelson Giants are on the hunt for a new coach next season after Tim Fanning accepted an assistant coach role at Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.

Tim leaves for one of Europe’s biggest clubs with the blessing of the Giants, with former player Phill Jones saying it is an opportunity too good to pass up.

“He called me from an airport and told me what was going on, and it’s such a good opportunity and speaks to how good Tim is as a coach,” Phill says.

Tim had one more year to run on his contract but the Giants now have five months to fill the role.

Both Phill and Tim say all players have been informed of what was happening and they have all agreed to stay onboard.

Phill, who retired last season, was non-committal when asked if he was a front runner for the coaching role.

“I’ll be there, but I’m not sure in what role,” Phill says. “It’s a big commitment to take a team like that and we are looking at options both locally and nationally.”

Tim had been working with Maccabi Tel Aviv, scouting players during the offseason.

He says the chance to work with the European powerhouse was a dream come true.

“I’ve always loved the Euro Leagues, so the chance to learn and grow this team is an opportunity too good to pass up.

“This job is great in terms of how you get to travel the world and I’ve had some great opportunities.”

Tim says it’s tough not to get closure on the job in Nelson and he would miss the van rides and the banter with the players.

“It’s tough to leave having not won a championship but I know the Giants will be fine, they are a well-run team with a great fan base and history.

“Hopefully it’s not goodbye but more of a ‘see you later’ type of thing.

“I’ll always be keeping an eye on things and ‘go Giants’.”